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USDA World Agricultural Production


10 January 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 January 2014USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 January 2014


USDA World Agricultural Production

Argentina corn production for 2013/14 is estimated at 25 million metric tons, a 3.8 percent drop from last month and a 5.7 percent drop from last year. Area is estimated at 3.4 million hectares, 1.4 percent less than last month and 15 percent less than last year. Yield is forecast at 7.35 tons per hectare, a drop of 2.4 percent from last month and lowered 11 percent from last year, when corn prices encouraged more planting in Argentina. Argentina’s corn crop had some recovery from the hot and dry conditions experienced during December with recent rains replenishing soil moisture on about 70 percent of the planted crop. Dry conditions slowed crop planting and the Ministry of Agriculture estimates only 77 percent of the crop was planted by the end of December.

Early-planted corn in northern Argentina and later corn in La Pampa may have been most affected by heat and moisture stress, with some fields showing leaf curling in December.

Recently emerged corn without an extensive root system was hard hit. Plants suffered slowing plant growth progress and declining yield potential. Crop recovery or continued heat stress on the corn will be determined over the next three weeks. (For more information, contact Denise McWilliams, PhD. at 202-720-0107.)

Argentina Cotton: Recent Rains Beneficial After Hot, Dry Conditions

Argentina cotton production for 2013/14 is now estimated at 1.13 million bales, up 25 percent from last month and 48 percent above last year’s production. The 2013/14 season is still well below the record cotton production of Argentina seen in 1995/96 with a record 2.09 million bales. Harvested area is estimated at 0.51 million hectares, up 0.11 million or 28 percent from last month and up 46 percent from last year. A combination of hot and dry weather, lower global pricing for corn and soybeans due to expected good supplies, Argentine taxes on corn and soy commodities, and fields not planted earlier to corn or sunflowers may have contributed to an increase in cotton area this season in Argentina. Yield is estimated at 480 kilograms tons per hectare, a 2.0 percent decrease from last month and 1.5 percent above last year. (For more information, contact Denise McWilliams, PhD. at 202-720-0107.)

Brazil Soybeans: Record Production due to Increased Planting Prospects

The USDA forecasts Brazil’s 2013/14 soybean production at a record 89.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 1.1 percent from last month and up 7.0 million tons or 8.5 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at a record 29.5 million hectares, up 0.4 million hectares from last month and up 1.8 million or 6.4 percent from last year. Yield is unchanged at 3.02 tons per hectare. Estimated area is adjusted up slightly as planting comes to an end. Planting began in mid-September and was nearly finished by the end of December. Brazilian farmers increased soybean area because of higher expected profits—area is up 6.4 percent from last year’s record area.

 Although soybean prices are lower this year than in 2012, soybeans are still profitable—even though costs have increased due to higher rates of pesticide applications. The Brazilian real has declined in value relative to the U.S. dollar. Depreciation results in higher values for exported soybeans which are sold on the global market. Slow forward marketing of this year’s soybean crop is believed to indicate that Brazilian farmers expect further devaluation.

About one percent of Mato Grosso’s soybeans have been harvested. Harvest results are from the short-cycle soybean varieties and yield is higher than expected. Short-cycle soybean varieties are preferred because early soybean harvest allows early planting of the second-crop corn, or possibly second-crop soybeans. There are only minor concerns about dryness in southern Brazil and in frontier areas of the northeastern regions in the states of Maranhão and Piauí. Despite concerns about Asiatic soybean rust and old world bollworm, farmers have been well-equipped to handle these pests, albeit at higher costs. (For more information, contact Bob Tetrault at 202- 720-1071.)

Ukraine Sunseed: Estimated Yield Surpasses Previous Record by 15 Percent

The USDA forecasts Ukraine sunflowerseed output for 2013/14 at 12.5 million tons, up 1.0 million or 8.6 percent from last month and up 3.5 million or 39 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 2.08 tons per hectare, 15 percent above the previous record set in 2011/12 and 31 percent above the 5-year average. The estimated harvested area is unchanged at 6.0 million hectares, matching last year’s level. This year’s crop benefited from favorable temperatures during the growing season, especially the absence of heat-related stress, and the continued increase in the use of hybrid seed. Over the past ten years, imports of planting seed (chiefly hybrid seed) have increased ten-fold and yield has essentially doubled. (For more information, contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

China Wheat: Production Up Slightly

The USDA estimates China’s 2013/14 wheat crop at 122.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or nearly 1 percent from last month and last year. The revision is based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics and other government agencies. Yield is estimated at a record 5.05 tons per hectare, up 1.2 percent from last month and 1.3 percent from last year’s record. Estimated area was lowered slightly this month to 24.15 million hectares, down less than 1 percent from last year and equal to the 5-year average. Wheat area has remained remarkably stable for the past 5 years at 24.1 to 24.3 million hectares. Winter wheat accounts for more than 90 percent of China’s total output. It is concentrated in several provinces on the North China Plain, where the climate is suitable and irrigation supplies are readily available. China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that winter wheat production increased in 2013 despite drought conditions in parts of the North China Plain. Area and production of spring wheat, grown in western and northern China, have been declining for several years as farmers shift to higher-yielding crops. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

China Cotton: Production Revised Upward

The USDA estimates China’s cotton production for 2013/14 at 33.0 million bales, up 1.0 million or 3.1 percent from last month but down 2.0 million or 5.7 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.15 million hectares is up 0.10 million or 2.0 percent from last month but down 0.15 million or 2.8 percent from last year. Cotton area declined this year in eastern China for several reasons, including high grain prices, rising production costs, yield volatility, and weak demand. However, planted area in Xinjiang province increased by an estimated 7 percent in 2013 in response to favorable returns in 2012. China’s cotton yield is estimated at 1395 kilograms per hectare, up slightly from last month, but down 3.0 percent from last year’s record yield. The drop in yield was due to periods of unfavorable summer weather in several of China’s important cotton regions, including heavy rainfall on the North China Plain and severe drought in the Yangtze River basin. China’s cotton crop is increasingly concentrated in Xinjiang province, which is located in Northwest China. According to official data, Xinjiang accounted for more than 50 percent of national production in 2012/13. Xinjiang’s output for 2013/14 is estimated higher than last year based on cotton classing data through December 2013. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

China Corn: Area, Yield and Production Set New Records

The USDA estimates China’s 2013/14 corn production at a record 217.0 million tons, up 6.0 million or 2.8 percent from last month and up 5.5 percent from last year’s record crop. Area is estimated at 36.1 million hectares, up 0.5 million from last month and more than 1.0 million from last year’s record area. The revisions are based on preliminary 2013 data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics and a review of seasonal weather. Much of the area increase likely came at the expense of soybean area in Northeast China, particularly in Heilongjiang province, where profits from corn are considerably higher than for soybeans. Farmers in China also reduced planted area for cotton and minor grains in 2013, freeing up additional land for corn. Yield is estimated at a record 6.0 tons per hectare, up 1.4 percent from last month and 2.4 percent from last year. China’s corn yield has been trending upward for the past 10 years for several reasons, including the introduction of hybrid seeds, better management, and strong government support for grain farmers.

Weather analysis and reports from government and industry sources indicate that overall growing conditions were equal to or better than last year. Timely rainfall boosted yields in normally dry regions of Northeast and Northwest China, which helped offset losses from massive flooding in parts of Heilongjiang and Jilin. The weather was generally favorable for corn on the North China Plain, although serious drought (featuring extremely high temperatures) had a negative impact on yields in Henan and parts of central China. Mild and dry weather in September and October aided the harvest progress in the North China Plain and Northeast. Episodes of insect pests and diseases were relatively minor this year, according to government reports. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

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